Having working, clear headlights is important year round, but it’s especially necessary in the wintertime, when it gets dark earlier and inclement weather can seriously hurt visibility. Follow these tips on headlight maintenance to make your car as safe as possible this season.
If you have a burnt out headlight, it should be easy to replace it yourself. How to access the bulb will depend on what kind of car you have (usually it’s through the hood), but you can find this information in your owner’s manual or even look up a guide online to help you replace it.
You don’t have to wait until your headlight burns out to replace it! You can tell when a headlight is getting weaker by examining it. If one side is brighter than the other or there are any other defects or irregularities, it’s time to change it. You should always replace headlights in pairs to avoid creating an uneven field of vision where one light is dimmer than the other.
Cleaning the cover on your headlights is also important! The covers can get dirty and foggy, which reduces visibility. Soap might not do the trick with caked on dirt, so using toothpaste can help thanks to the grit in it. Just put it on a cloth and use it like you would soap, and then rinse the headlight.
For more headlight maintenance tips, call us at Larry Jay Mitsubishi.
Fall is the perfect time of year to perform regular maintenance. You can do most of the work yourself, or simply bring your car into Larry Jay Mitsubishi. From changing the oil to checking the brakes, there are some basic things to keep in mind during the autumn months.
First, according to the Car Connection, you should check your tires when doing fall car maintenance. Tire pressure decreases as the temperature dips, which means you may be riding on low tires. This not only increases the risk of a blowout, but it also decreases fuel economy. Be sure to check tire pressure as soon as possible. Additionally, you should check tire tread using a tread-depth indicator or a simple penny. Invert the penny and place it in the middle of the tread—if you see above Abe Lincoln’s head, you may need new tires.
Next, replace the wiper blades and top off fluids. In addition to changing the oil (which you should normally do every three months or 3,000 miles), be sure to check and top off the coolant, wiper fluid, transmission fluid, power steering, and brake fluid if necessary. Changing the wipers in the fall is suggested because rain and snow are usually less frequent. Why wait until it’s too late?
Finally, check your heater! It can be easy to forget the heater since you’ve been using the A/C all summer, but be sure to check the heater to make sure the element and fan are working properly. These are just some of the many things you can do to help maintain your car for fall.
Is it December already? As temperatures drop, you might want to take the time to get some winter car prep time before the freezing temperatures of January and February move in. Extreme cold can have a big impact on the inner-workings of your vehicle, so it’s best to be prepared.
Check Your Fluids
It’s best to have your vehicle in top working conditions during the colder months so you have one less thing to worry about. Keep your gas above half a tank, top off your oil, keep an eye on your coolant, and next time you get your car serviced…
Switch to Winter-Grade Oil and Wiper Fluid
As part of your fluids check, you should definitely switch over your oil and windshield wiper fluid. Winter-grade oil will be more effective in freezing temperatures, and the wiper fluid you use year-round might freeze on your windshield in extreme conditions.
Gauge Tread Depth and Tire Pressure
Having good grip between your tires and the road is crucial in hazardous road conditions. Cold also makes tires deflate faster, so keep on top of your tire pressure.
Pack a Winter Emergency Kit
Accidents still happen even if you stay on top of maintenance and do everything right. In those cases, you should have things like blankets, water bottles, a flashlight, and other emergency supplies packed and in your trunk.
Winter car prep will help you and your vehicle get through the cold winter months easier and safer than ever.
The alternator is one of the most important parts of your car, since it’s the part that generates electricity to keep your battery charged as you drive. If you’ve ever wondered how they do this, we here at Larry Jay Mitsubishi have created a brief guide on how alternators work.
Alternators contain several parts, including a rotor, a stator, a rectifier assembly, and a set of brushes that maintain contact with the rotor, all of which are housed inside an aluminum casing. There’s also a pulley outside the casing.
The word alternator comes from the phrase alternating current. The rotor and stator work together to produce electromagnetic power, which is then sent to the battery. The engine rotates the alternator pulley, which causes the rotor to spin past wire coils that are part of the stator. This produces alternating currents in the rotor and stator. The electricity from this is funneled through stator leads to the rectifier diodes, which send the current in the proper direction.
Alternators also require a voltage regulator that determines the amount of voltage that goes into the engine, since too much can damage it. This isn’t everything there is to know about the alternator, so read up if you’re interested!